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Notes on Rising Stars


I met a large amount of amazing people during London Fashion Week and wanted to bring the spotlight to a few designers that are heading to a bright future in the industry. Fashion week had me scouting for talent, doing necessary work, and enjoying every moment.

From emerging designers and models to established boutique owners and fashion professionals, there was much to see, and many opportunities to network if you preferred. Not to mention if you dug a little deeper than the average person, you'd also find that the work hard, play hard mentality had indeed paid off to many who stood amongst the crowds.
Maali Runway Nigerian Fashion  (Above and below) Maali designs, photo:Trevor Griffiths iDeLick Media
Exhausted by travel, but ready for anything that would come my way, entered three designers on the moveLinda Maikori of UK/Nigerian based label Maali, London-based American designer Richelle Dynae, and South African designer Lesego Malatsi of Mzanzi Designers Emporium. There were several others that were noteworthy, however these particular designers left me with a different impression and truly exuded their passion both on and off the runway.

I had the pleasure to meet and work with them a bit backstage and during the show. I must admit after years of doing behind the scenes work from fashion direction and styling to designing this was probably the most calming backstage experience.

Each designer had their own story to tell, whether unconventional, historic, dramatic, or symbolic. Maali showcased a colourful palette, emitting sparkles of hand-beading and wrap silhouettes that combined Nigerian and British elements within her inspiration. Her collection was a line that revived old cultural references, as well as bringing a contemporary effect for wearability.
Nathan Thompson Photography Fashion's Finest
(Above left Nathan Thompson -Photography) (Above right- photography by See Li & below)designs by Lesego Malatsi 
Soweto Designer Lesego Malatsi Branson Centre
Lesego Malatsi, a businessman and alumni of the Branson Centre, South Africa celebrated his artful eye with a display of bright colours and signature collection details. With a nod from the audience, and an even earlier one by Richard Branson himself, the boldness of the line was one that immediately grabbed your attention.

The Branson Centre focuses on mentoring those with a clear vision foreseeing themselves as potential business owners. The entrepreneurship programme has broadened the minds of many who show excellence in their craft or have thought big career-wise, yet had no aid in funding. Programme participants are the business leaders of the future; making a difference in the world around them. The Branson Centre provides a network of opportunity, including business coaching that allows one to think on a grander scale about the future of their initial business. Hats off to Malatsi for following his dream, and making it a memorable show!
Richelle Dynae AudraE Designs
Emerging Talent London Fashion Week
Work of Richelle Dynae design in collaboration with Audra-E (Photo-courtesy of -Richelle Dynae Designs)

Speaking of hats, millinery designer Audra Elizabeth Kaske (Audra E) also known as the other half of the collaborative S/SU-2012 line of Richelle Dynae Designs won the crowd by her timeless pieces of couture head-wear. Designer Richelle Dynae's intricate work evoked enough theatrical and historical influence to remind you why her avant-garde garments won at New Zealand's 2010 World of WearableArt (WOW) awards.

From farthingales and corsets to delicately produced cocktail-styled hats and masks, there was a well-made and exquisite performance prepared. After getting to know the designers a bit more, the artistic chemistry between these two ladies was proof of a beautiful partnership that's bound to flourish with each creation.

Other lines that I admired were by designers Jo Hendo, Jo Black Craze, Masha Ma, and Jasper Garvida.

Other photos by: Ladyofashion, courtesy of designer's site.
           A quick shot after working with Audra-E and Dynae

Richelle Dynae Designs
A view from the back details.

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